Former State Security Agency (SSA) director general Arthur Fraser has escalated the battle between intelligence bosses past and present. He wants his successor, Loyisa Jafta, to be charged with lying under oath in testimony to the Zondo commission to implicate him in criminal abuses.
On Sunday Fraser laid complaints of perjury against Jafta, two colleagues identified only as Mr Y and Ms K by the commission and former minister Sydney Mufamadi, who headed the high-level review panel on the SSA, at the Hillbrow police station.
Fraser accused the head of the commission’s legal team, advocate Paul Pretorius, of leading the witnesses to commit perjury, and levels the same charge against Pretorius’s colleague, advocate Veruschka September.
In an affidavit to the police, he said Mufamadi made himself guilty of “grossly mendacious conduct” last week when he told the commission that Fraser had unlawfully employed his son at a warehouse that served as a cover to a covert intelligence operation.
He said he had confirmed to the review panel that his son worked at the warehouse but was never asked whether it was fact.
According to Fraser, Mufamadi also lied when he told Pretorius that, while he was the accounting officer for the intelligence service, it failed to provide documentary evidence for R125.6-million used for operational purposes. He said the necessary documents had been handed to Jafta and had also been placed at the disposal of Ms K.
“As such, the relevant documentation is available from within the SSA, more particularly, the office of the acting director-general.”
He accused both Jafta and Mufamadi of inflating the value of SSA assets that could not be accounted for to R9-billion from the actual figure of about R9-million.
The sum had shocked Chief Justice Raymond Zondo when the commission last week heard evidence that the SSA was run like a fiefdom where rules went out the window as senior operatives and successive intelligence ministers indulged former president Jacob Zuma’s political and personal whims.
“There was a legal duty and fiduciary responsibility on Mr Jafta to correct the incorrect proportions that was now evidence before the commission and widely publicised in all forms of media,” Fraser said.
“Instead, Mr Jafta confirmed the correctness thereof when he knew that he was not being honest.”
He said he was baffled by the testimony of Ms K, the project manager of the “Project Veza” probe in the SSA on alleged abuses, that his vetting for security clearance at the SSA was an irregular process, rushed over three days in early September 2016.
Finally, he denied the allegation by the witnesses that Zuma abused the SSA to fight battles in the ANC.
“I further dispute any allegations of the SSA, under my leadership, having contributed to unlawfully benefit any factions.”
Fraser said it was in line with the Constitution that intelligence operatives were deployed to the ANC conference at Nasrec in December 2017 where Cyril Ramaphosa was elected as president of the party.
Ms K had testified that Fraser recalled members of the disbanded Chief Directorate of Special Operations for the conference and that the SSA spent R19-billion on the operation.
Fraser stressed that he, as well as other people, knew the real identities of Ms K and Mr Y.
It was expected that Fraser, who is the current director general of correctional services, would step up his counteroffensive after the latest allegations against him at the commission.
Last year, after the commission heard testimony that he blocked investigations into the Gupta family, he demanded Jafta declassify a raft of dossiers, including documents relating to a project by foreign intelligence chief Moe Shaik to co-opt media organisations.
Fraser reiterated the demand in a lawyer’s letter sent to Jafta on January 23. The letter intimates that the information he wants declassified will reveal wrongdoing by former intelligence boss Gibson Njenje, the origins of a disinformation report portraying former public protector Thuli Madonsela as a CIA agent and payments from the SSA to Charles Nqakula while he served as national security adviser in the presidency.
Njenje has told the commission that Ajay Gupta chaired a meeting with ministers in Zuma’s study, and corroborated testimony by Shaik that Zuma and Siyabonga Cwele, then the state security minister, had shut down investigations into the Guptas in 2011.
In his statement to the police, Fraser said he reserved the right to bring further criminal charges against those who had deceived the commission and the country as a whole.
Read Fraser’s statement below: